The protests against clear cut harvesting in West Bragg Creek at a 2 August information session called by ESRD have resulted in further consultations.
Following an emotional information session on 2 August in which it became clear that the Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) would allow Spray Lake Sawmills to proceed with logging the West Bragg Creek, Robert Sadee and Bruce Barker, both of the Greater Bragg Creek Trail Association (GBCTA), met with ESRD Minister Diana McQueen, ADM of Forestry Bruce Mayer and ESRD Chief of Staff Riley Georgsen on 23 August. It was a positive meeting. While the government officials made it clear that they support logging of some sort in the late autumn, they made it equally clear that they were looking for solutions and compromises from all the stakeholders. Sadee and Barker felt that the Minister understood the importance of the trails and the community investment in them. What was needed was community buy-in on the fire containment strategy.
A community stakeholders’ workshop was held on 8 and 9 September. In the workshop, stakeholders and land users gained a better understanding of the Prometheus wildfire prediction model, and were able to view the Prometheus modelling on six different proposals, including the GBCTA’s plan that calls for a combination of buffers and some re-routing of trails. The Minister now will look at five of those options, and bring the ones to the community that best satisfy the combination of FireSmart protection for West Bragg Creek, trail mitigations, and timber harvesting. The date set for the next meeting is Tuesday, 25 September, at the Bragg Creek Community Centre. If the West Bragg Creek trails are important to you and you feel that FireSmarting the community must be done with full consideration of the value of tourism and recreation in this area, don’t miss this important meeting.
The GBCTA is hopeful that there will be a positive resolution to the on-going discussions around this issue. For Minister McQueen’s response to Maurice Gaucher’s mid-August letter, please read the PDF following.
For Maurice Gaucher’s response to the Minister’s letter on 21 September, see the PDF following.
For further suggestions by Alf Skrastins, please read the PDF following.